Brian Turner, Major Jackson, & Susan Rich
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Brian Turner, Major Jackson, & Susan Rich

Past Event: Thursday, April 14, 2011

At Benaroya Hall — Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall

Co-Presented by Poetry Society of America.

This Poetry Series Special Event features an introduction and moderated Q&A from Alice Quinn, former poetry editor at the New Yorker and now Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America.

Brian Turner is the author of Here, Bullet, the chronicle of his time as a solider in the Iraq war, which earned him the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award. Born in Visalia, California, Turner attended Fresno State for his B.A. and M.A. before receiving his M.F.A. from the University of Oregon. After graduating, he taught English in South Korea for a year, and traveled to Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Japan. The New York Times Book Review commented on Here, Bullet, “The day of the first moonwalk, my father’s college literature professor told his class, ‘Someday they’ll send a poet, and we’ll find out what it’s really like.’ Turner has sent back a dispatch from a place arguably more incomprehensible than the moon—the war in Iraq—and deserves our thanks….” Turner has been featured in The New YorkerThe New York Times, on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and Morning Edition on NPR. He appeared in the film, Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, which was nominated for a 2007 Academy Award for Best Documentary. His honors include a Lannan Literary Fellowship, the NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry, and the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship. Turner lives in Nevada and teaches at Sierra Nevada College. His most recent collection of poetry is Phantom Noise, released in 2010.

Major Jackson is the author of three books of poetry, including Hoops (2007), which was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature–Poetry, and Leaving Saturn, winner of the 2000 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he attended Temple University and the University of Oregon. “My early influences include people like Gwendolyn Brooks and Robert Hayden,” Jackson says. “My models back then were poets who asserted the narrative as a framework, as a means of entering a lyrical space.” His poetry has received critical attention in The Boston GlobeChristian Science MonitorParnassus, and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. His honors include a 2003 Whiting Writers’ Award, a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and a 2003 Witter Bynner Fellowship. He served as a creative arts fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and as the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Jackson is a professor of English at the University of Vermont and a member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars, and serves as the Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review. His most recent volume of poetry is Holding Company (2010).

Seattle poet Susan Rich is the author of three collections of poetry, including, most recently, The Alchemist’s Kitchen. Rich worked as a staff person for Amnesty International, an electoral supervisor in Bosnia Herzegovina, and a human rights trainer in Gaza and the West Bank. She has lived in the Republic of Niger, West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and South Africa where she taught at the University of Cape Town on a Fulbright Fellowship. Her work has been published in many anthologies, including Best Essays of the NorthwestPoets of the American West, and Poem Home: An Anthology of Ars Poetica. “Susan Rich writes gorgeous lyrical poetry which so courageously tells us the truth about the world.” says fellow poet Ilya Kaminsky. “Her beautiful ear, her fierce attention to detail, her deeply human empathy inspire me.” Her work has earned her awards from PEN USA, The Times Literary Supplement, and Peace Corps Writers, as well as international honors, including a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Ireland and a residency at Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain. Educated at the University of Massachusetts, Harvard University, and the University of Oregon, Susan Rich lives in Seattle and teaches at Highline Community College where she runs the reading series, Highline Listens: Writers Read Their Work.

Alice Quinn is the Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s graduate School of the Arts. She was poetry editor at The New Yorkerfrom 1987-2007 and at Alfred A. Knopf, Publishers, from 1976-1986, and she is the editor of Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments by Elizabeth Bishop. Her articles on and interviews with writers, poets, and artists have appeared in Artforum, the Canadian National PostThe ForwardPoetry IrelandThe New Yorker, and The New Yorker Online, and she is currently at work editing the journals and notebooks of Elizabeth Bishop.

Selected WorkBrain TurnerPhantom Noise (2010)Here, Bullet (2005)Major JacksonHolding Company (2010)Hoops (2007)Leaving Saturn (2002)Susan RichThe Alchemist’s Kitchen (2010)Cures Include Travel (2006)The Cartographer’s Tongue (2000) LinksSusan Rich’s website Susan Rich reads “At Middle Life: A Romance,” from her collection, The Alchemist’s Kitchen. Major Jackson’s website Major Jackson at the New York State Writers Institute in 2008 Brian Turner reads on NPR Home Fires series by Brian Turner (The New York Times)

Event Details

Benaroya Hall — Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall

200 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Transportation & Parking

This event will be held in the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall. The Recital Hall is located on the upper level of Benaroya Hall, up the stairs to the left side of the Box Office. Benaroya Hall is located at 200 University Street, directly across Second Avenue from the Seattle Art Museum. The public entrance to Benaroya Hall is along Third Avenue.

By Car

  • From Southbound I-5
    Take the Union Street exit (#165B). Continue onto Union Street and proceed approximately five blocks to Second Avenue. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound I-5
    Exit left onto Seneca Street (exit #165). Proceed two blocks and turn right onto Fourth Avenue. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Union Street. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Seneca Street exit and move into the left lane. Turn left onto First Avenue and proceed one block. Take the next right (at the Hammering Man sculpture) onto University Street. Continue up the hill two blocks to Third Avenue. Turn left onto Third Avenue. Continue to the next block and turn left onto Union Street. Make the next left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Southbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Denny Way/Downtown exit. Keep right and cross over Denny Way onto Wall Street. Proceed approximately five blocks and turn left onto Second Avenue. Continue south on Second Avenue approximately eight blocks. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.

By Public Transit (Bus & Light Rail)

Benaroya Hall is served by numerous bus routes. Digital reader boards along Third Avenue display real-time bus arrival information. For details and trip planning tools, call Metro Rider Information at 206.553.3000 (voice) or 206.684.1739 (TDD), or visit Metro online. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, served by light rail, has a stop just below the Hall (University Street Station).

The 430-car underground garage at Benaroya Hall provides direct access from the enclosed parking area into the Hall via elevators leading to The Boeing Company Gallery. Enter the garage on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street. Maximum vehicle height is 6’8″. Blink charging stations are available for electric vehicles. Visit the Benaroya Hall website for event pricing.

Parking is also available at:

  • The Cobb Building (enter on University Street between Third and Fourth Avenues).
  • The Russell Investments Center (enter on Union Street between First and Second Avenues).
  • There are many other garages within a one-block radius of Benaroya Hall, along with numerous on-street parking options.


Open Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where a captioning screen displaying the words that are spoken or sung is placed on stage. This option is present at every event at Benaroya Hall in our 2021/22 Season.

Closed Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where captioning displays the words that are spoken or sung at the bottom of the video during an online event. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are devices that people with hearing loss use in conjunction with their hearing device (hearing aids or cochlear implants). Benaroya Hall has an infrared hearing system, which transmits sound by light beams. Headsets are available in The Boeing Company Gallery coat check and the Head Usher stations in both lobbies.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals for both in-person and online events. To make a request for interpretation, please contact us at or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Sign Language Interpretation” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process and we will contact you to confirm details. Please note: we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure interpretation.

Wheelchair Accessible Seating and Accessible Restrooms are available in all sections at our venues, and our venues are fully accessible to ticket holders with physical mobility concerns. Among other features, Benaroya Hall has designated parking spaces adjacent to elevators in their parking garage. Elevators with Braille signage go to all levels within the Hall. To reserve seating for a specific mobility concern, you may select “Wheelchair Accessible or Alternative Seating Options” during ticket checkout, and we will contact you to confirm details. For more details on their accessibility features, click here.

Guide and service dogs are welcome.

Gender neutral restrooms are available.

We are pleased to offer these accessibility services at our venues, and they are provided at no additional cost to ticket holders. Please contact us with any questions and feedback about how we can be more accessible and inclusive. Our Patron Services Manager is available at, or Monday-Friday from 10:00am – 5:00pm at 206.621.2230×10.

For more accessibility information, please head to If you would like to make accessibility arrangements you do not see listed here, please contact our box office or select “Other Accommodations” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process, and we will contact you to confirm details.